Whilst we all enjoy a peaceful kip beneath the duvet, a good night’s sleep is actually vital to our wellbeing. If you’re sleep routine is less than desirable, here are several reasons to make sure you can get the hours shut-eye you deserve:
It prevents weight gain
Research has proven that those who are getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night are often fatter and more likely to become obese. This is because a lack of sleep disturbs our hunger hormones and means that less leptin is produced (the hormone which supresses appetite and speeds metabolism) and more ghrelin is produced (the hormone which stimulates appetite). This means that on waking an individual who is not getting enough sleep will be more likely to eat more. It’s also been found that those who sleep less are more likely to crave food that is bad for their health – foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
One of the most serious illnesses that can be aggravated by a continued loss of sleep is heart attacks. A 2003 study revealed that those people who had less than 5 hours sleep a night on a regular basis were much more likely to have a heart attack than those who had a full night’s sleep. A lack of sleep has also been shown to increase blood pressure – another highly dangerous condition.
It helps your balance
Get the sleep you need and you should see a marked improvement in your general well-being and coordination. Less sleep leads your body to be disoriented meaning it will not function as highly as it should do; this increases the likelihood of accidents. Being drowsy whilst driving is a particularly high risk side-effect of not getting the right amount of rest each night.
It improves your mood
Sleeping helps our body to relax and our mind to unwind and reorganise our thoughts. If you are not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, both physical and mental stresses can become exaggerated. Whilst initially a lack of sleep can lead to dampen moods and irritation, long-term not enough sleep can lead to depression and behavioural issues such as ADHD.
It lengthens your life span
Finally, getting the right amount of sleep each night can actually lengthen your life span! Numerous studies have shown that those who sleep less than 5 hours each night are at greater risk of dying early – and having already mentioned obesity, heart attacks and high blood pressure it really is no wonder.
Make sure you are getting the best night’s sleep possible as-soon-as-possible and see how your daily wellbeing and general health of your lifestyle dramatically improves. You might not be able to see the effects of sleep deprivation straight away but they will surely be there beneath the dark circles and frustration. Though it may mean more hours spent in bed, sleep really is vital to be able to live life to the full!
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